Record Deal Averts Certain Strike for the Group of Nearly 200 Workers
Press Contact: Jamie Fleming Phone: (425) 281-0166 Email: [email protected]
(TUKWILA, WA)—After a breakdown in negotiations left Local 174 Safeway drivers, dispatchers, and recycle center workers on the brink of a strike, a late-night recommended agreement was reached and ratified by the members on Saturday morning. The historic three-year agreement addresses nearly every issue identified prior to negotiations, and includes record-setting wage and pension increases, vacation pay, holidays, and many other improvements. The offer passed by all but one in attendance.
After more than a year spent working longer hours and in worse conditions than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Safeway workers entered these negotiations with a long list of critical issues they wanted their new contract to address. They also demanded their new contract reward them for their hard work and for exposing themselves and their families to COVID-19 while Safeway continued making record profits over the past year.
Negotiations took a negative turn on Thursday when it appeared that Safeway management was not interested in addressing the most critical issues that needed to be fixed in a new contract. A strike appeared inevitable. At that point, Teamster leadership said it was time to hear directly from the Teamster members working at Safeway. Following several heartfelt and impassioned speeches from the workers, management finally had a change of heart.
Thankfully, the Teamsters and Safeway management remained at the bargaining table late into the night until an agreement was finally reached that addressed the members’ issues and concerns. The offer was overwhelmingly ratified Saturday at a meeting punctuated by cheers and applause.
“Our members at Safeway have worked longer hours over the past year than ever before, earning record profits for their employer,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “While they were reluctant at first, Safeway management really stepped up to the plate and delivered this historic agreement that rewards our members for their hard work and sacrifices. These Teamsters have earned every dollar in this contract and every improvement to the contract language. This is a great day to be a member of Teamsters Local 174.”
Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 8,600 working men and women in Seattle and the surrounding areas.
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